29 Haunted Houses, Halloween Bar Crawls, and Other Spooky Attractions Around Philly

Your guide to Halloween 2019.


haunted houses

Terror Behind the Walls serves up one of the best haunted house experiences in Philly. Photograph by Darryl Moran

Haunted Houses

Terror Behind the Walls
Every Halloween, Eastern State Penitentiary gets even scarier by converting into a gigantic, high-tech, multi-part haunted house full of grabby ghouls, jump scares and elaborate set pieces. This year the prison might appear to be a little more low key about Terror Behind the Walls, with no giant demon gargoyles over the door and minimal signage, but the attraction is still going strong, as evidenced by the long lines streaming and screaming out the door.
$24-$30, continues through November 9th, Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave.

Haunted Houses & Hayrides
Here are some other major, immersive Halloween attractions in the area, full of monsters who want to eat you.

Halloween Shows and Performances

haunted houses

Check out all the spooky Halloween experiences at 2nd Sanctuary. Photograph by Ted Lieverman

2nd Sanctuary: A Multi-Experience Halloween Attraction
Perennial Fringe Festival all-stars Brian Sanders’ Junk are known for their twisty, muscular, memorable dance/movement/theater performances. This Halloween installation at an old church — featuring an escape room, a “multi-sensory indoor maze,” a zombie disco and more — is bound to be as pretty as it is spooky.
$29-$35, Thursday-Sunday, through November 3, 2040 Christian St., 267-406-6080.

Secret Cinema: Halloween Grab Bag
Philly’s most dedicated screeners of rare and forgotten cinematic gems are loading the projector with lots of creepily obscure films you’ve never heard of. The main feature is Erle C. Kenton’s 1932 mad scientist flick Island of Lost Souls (based on H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau) starring Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen and Leila Hyams.
$9, Thursday, October 31, 8 p.m., The Maas Building, 1325 N. Randolph St., 267-239-2851.

Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon Part XIII: The Final Cut!
Once again, the film nuts at Exhumed Films have dug up another full day of flicks to get you in the Halloween mood. Which ones? They’ll never tell, you just gotta sit there in the dark and see what happens.
$65, Saturday, October 26, noon through Sunday, October 27, noon, Lightbox Film Center, 3701 Chestnut St., 215-895-6590.

Not So Silent Cinema presents Nosferatu
Live score masters Not So Silent Cinema will play along with the 1922 vampire classic at the Mütter Museum. There’s also a cash bar, free pretzels and a pre-movie lecture “on the use of horror as a metaphor for pestilence.” (P.S. Get there early and check out the Spit Spreads Death exhibit.) (P.P.S. The museum’s annual Mischief at the Mütter party is the next day.)
Free if you come only for the movie/lecture, $20 includes the cash bar/museum, Wednesday, October 30, 5:30-9:15 p.m., Mütter Museum, 19 S. 22nd St., 215-560-8564.

Cypress Hill Haunted Hill
If Cypress Hill’s first love is weed, then its second love is Halloween. The veteran California hip-hop group has been staging its Haunted Hill shows for a couple decades now. Costumes encouraged. Here’s a mini-doc to set the mood.
$35-$45, Saturday, October 26, 7:30 p.m., Franklin Music Hall, 421 N. Seventh St.

10th Annual TJ Kong Halloween Costume Ball Rock N Roll Murdershow
For the 10th year in a row, bluesy, garagey, charismatic rockers TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb are throwing their annual Murdershow concert/dance party, this time enlisting pals Ali Awan and Aeromingosmith (say it out loud) to help out. Guaranteed good time.
$12-$15, 8 p.m., Saturday, October 26, Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684.

Murder’s A Drag: Occult
Sutton Fearce hosts a big fun drag show that will invoke “things witchy and Satan-y.” Performers include Mistor Fahrenheit, Lili St. Queer, Anita Manhattan and Ron Binary.
$12-$20, Sunday, October 27, 7 p.m., Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor St.

Philly Pops presents the Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s stop-motion classic The Nightmare Before Christmas will play on the big screen while the Pops plays along. Two nights. Costumes encouraged.
$49-$124, Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, The Met, 858 N. Broad St.

Halloween Parties

Halloqweens
Billed as “Philly’s Biggest Annual Queer & LGBTQIA Halloween Jawn,” this party at FringeArts has a lot going on: live music, drag, burlesque, tarot readings, a photo booth, etc. Live performers include Tama Gucci, Kai the Black Angel, Pauli Cakes Ann Artist, and tons more.
$15, Saturday, October 26, 9 p.m., FringeArts, 140 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Haunted Ship Halloween Party
A live jazz band, multiple DJs, and the whole thing is on a boat. What’s not to love?
$15-$30, Saturday, October 26, 9p.m.-2a.m., Moshulu, 401 S Columbus Blvd.

Scene Queen Halloween 3
Finally, here’s your chance to scream your heart out to Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boys, and many more. Bring on the nostalgia!
$7, Saturday, October 26, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N Front St.

3lau: Halloween Night
Not a huge fan of spooky stuff? Not a problem. You can enjoy Halloween rave style and dance the night away.
$30, Thursday, October 31, 10p.m. to 2a.m., NOTO, 1209 Vine St.

Halloweekend Bash
In the spirit of clown-themed scary movies spooking us this October, here’s a circus-themed party. Choose your costume wisely, you might win a $500 cash prize. Also, don’t miss out an opportunity to meet the drag queens Pi, Brooklyn Ford, and Iris Spectre.
$10, Saturday, October 26, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Concourse Dance Bar, 1635 Market St.

Witches Ball: Halloween Dance Party
Get dressed up to scare and to show off your best dance moves.
$5, Friday, October 25, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., The Victoria Freehouse, 10 S Front St.

Drink Philly’s Halloween Boat Party
It’s a “boos cruise.” Get it? The three-hour-long cruise has an open bar and professional photographers to capture your costume.
$59, Friday, October 25, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Spirit of Philadelphia, 401 South Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Halloween Bar Crawls

Who says you shouldn’t dress up like a sexy ghost and run around town making a drunken fool of yourself? Common decency, that’s who. But its voice is weak and its argument is unconvincing. Stay safe, people.

  • Monster March, $9.95-$19.95, Saturday, October 26, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., The Gaslight, 120 Market St.
  • Trick or Drink, $15-$45; Day One: Saturday, October 26, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Day Two: Thursday, October 31, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; Tavern on Broad, 200 S. Broad St.
  • Official Halloween Bar Crawl, $18.75-$39.99, Saturday, October 26, 3-11 p.m., Rittenhouse Square.
  • Night of the Crawling Dead, $10-$15; Day One: Saturday, October 26, 2 p.m.; Day Two: Thursday, October 31, 5 p.m.

Kid-Friendly Halloween Attractions

Franklin Square Halloween Happenings
There’s lots of spirited family-friendly stuff going on at Franklin Square in the next couple weeks (in addition to the Fountain Show that wraps up after Halloween).

  • Spooky Mini Golf, $8-$10, Thursday-Sunday, now through October 31, 6-9 p.m.
  • Halloween Maze, free, Saturday, October 12, noon-4 p.m.
  • Pumpkin Patch, free, Saturday, October 19, noon-2 p.m.
  • Trick-or-Treat Trail, free, Saturday, October 26, free, noon-3 p.m.,
  • Bark-or-Treat Trail, free, Sunday, October 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth St., 215-629-4026.

Ghost Ship
It’s not specifically billed as a Halloween thing, but I’d say a pirate ship made out of light and mist is close enough. Very freaky, very cool, and free.
Free, continues through November 3, Race Street Pier, N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Jack’s Pumpkin Glow
The mysterious Jack returns with another Instagrammable walk-through menagerie of carved pumpkins (and things that look like carved pumpkins) in West Fairmount Park, near the Mann Center — and the terrifyingly named Catholic Total Abstinence Fountain.
$16.99-$27.99, Wednesday-Sunday, through November 3, 5201 Parkside Ave.